Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Time Is Coming

2 Timothy 4:3

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine.

RayMcDHave you ever been warned about something that was pending – something that was going to happen in the future? I had a teacher who would often say – mark my word – and then tell us something that was going to happen – like – mark my word – this will be on the next test. It wasn’t always so – but it did make us study more.

Maybe as a parent you have said something like this or your parents did – mark my word – if you do that again you will get punished. Maybe it was like this – if you don’t stop fighting – if you make me get out of my chair – if you don’t get up now – if you don’t eat all your food – than “whatever” was going to happen. This too didn’t always happen (for some of us) but it probably – for a few times – change our behavior.

Paul gives us warning in today’s passage – 2 Timothy 4:3 – For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

I’m a person that has tried to stay up with the times. I’m 61 years old – yet I have an iPhone – a smart TV – an iPad – an MacBook Pro – and an iMac. I try to keep up with technology. I have a bog page (you’re reading a post of mine now). I use Facebook – Twitter – Google+ – E-Mail – and more. I often read or listen to the Bible online – I listen to podcasts and online sermons. I try to keep up with the times.

I’ve also lived long enough to see some radical changes in our culture – some for the best – some not so much. I lived through the Vietnam War and the protests on campuses and in Washington – DC. I lived through assassinations of a president and other men like Martin Luther King (and the riots that followed). I personally believe that some of the social changes that have occurred over the last 61 years have been good changes and I’m happy the church has followed some of these changes (but not all of them).

Cultural norms change and for the church to be relevant in the culture – the church needs to change with some of them for sure. If we keep our head in the sand and try to share the Gospel in 2016 like it was 1955 – something will be missed. I get this! Yet somewhere a line needs to be drawn that we will not cross – even if it means the death of us or the church.

One of my favorite sayings is this – as the world moves away from God – Christians ought to stand out more and more. There is a difference between a social norm that is healthy to embrace and a social norm that is sinful and destructive. The church does itself harm when it begins to embrace sin as acceptable. The manner in which the Gospel is proclaimed may change with the times – but the truth is still the truth.  I have sermons my grandfather and father preached. The Scriptural truth is still true today – even though I would use different examples to get my points across.

Join me and pray that the United Methodist Church will continue to stand against sin – that the church would seek a way to express love to all of us in our sin – and live out that love together striving to be more like Jesus.

Here are Paul’s words to Timothy again – words of scripture – 2 Timothy 4:3 – For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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August 26, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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